What is the Pennsylvania EBT Card Guide? A Pennsylvania EBT card is a plastic card that is similar to a debit card and is been used to give out food stamps benefits. The full meaning of the EBT is Electronic Benefits Transfer. The card is also called the Pennsylvania ACCESS card and is used to deliver benefits such as food stamps (SNAP benefits) and cash assistance in some cases. The EBT card can be used in stores that accept the EBT card. Not all retail stores accept the EBT card. Once you are qualified for the food stamps benefits (SNAP benefits) and maybe cash assistance, you will be issued an EBT card with which you can access the food stamp benefit. The card will be loaded every month till the period of certification (the time the benefit is expected to last), which is usually 12 months for most households and 24 months in some special cases.
Pennsylvania EBT Card Guide
The food stamp program (SNAP benefits) is a program sponsored by the federal government and controlled by the state. The aim of the program is to assist Pennsylvanians people in households that are eligible and earn low income to buy food that will give them a nutritious diet and a healthy life. The food stamp benefit is used to purchase food and food items
How the Pennsylvania EBT Card Works
Once you are eligible for the food stamps benefits, you will be issued an EBT card (Pennsylvania Access Card). Below are the steps on how to use the EBT card;
- Once you are issued the card you select a personal identification number (PIN), make sure it is what you can easily remember and no can access it.
- After you are done buying, give the card to the retailer and swipe the card through the Point of Sale (POS) terminal, and securely enter your PIN to access your stamp benefits.
- Then wait for a little so the PIN and the account balance are verified electronically, and the retailer either gets a denial or authorization.
- Your account is then debited for the number of items you purchased and the retailer’s account is credited you are not allowed to buy anything other than food and food items.
- Some recipients can access cash from the ATMs that are located throughout the state.
How to Check the Balance of Your Food Stamp Benefits (EBT Benefits)
Below are ways you can check your EBT balance;
- The best and easiest way to check your food stamp balance is to keep your last receipt
- Should in case you lose your last receipt and you need to check the balance, you can simply call the hotline of the state.
- Or better still you can go online and check your balance. You can check it through this site; https://www.connectebt.com/paebtclient/. For more information on how to check your balance visit the following link; https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/SNAP.aspx..
To get the food stamp benefits you must meet the eligibility requirement listed below;
- Your income must meet the limit set by the state
- The income of the household both earned and unearned
- Also the housing costs, child care payments, medical expenses will also be considered
For more information about the eligibility criteria visit this link; https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/recipient/eligibility.
How to Apply For the Food Stamp Benefit
Below are ways to apply for the food stamp benefits
- The fast and simplest way to apply for the food stamp benefit is online through the link below; https://www.compass.state.pa.us/compass.web/Public/CMPHome.
- The other method is applying in person at the local Pennsylvania office close to you. You can get more information on this method from the following site; https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/CAO-Contact.aspx.
The snap benefit can only be used to buy food and food items. Non-food items are banned to be bought by your food stamp benefit. When in a grocery to buy food items ask about the EBT list that you can buy.